Archbishop calls for hope in Easter message

The Archbishop of Canterbury has said people must bring 'restoration and hope' to a world where 'evil' still exists.

Sunday, 16th April 2017, 2:10 pm
Updated Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 6:51 pm
The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby meets members of the congregation following the Easter service at Canterbury Cathedral in Kent. PRESS ASSOCIATION

The Most Rev Justin Welby told his Easter Sunday congregation at Canterbury Cathedral, Kent, that in the face of “pain and despair, grief and death” people should remember the words “Do not be afraid”.

He referred to the attacks in Egypt which killed more than 40 people in churches in Alexandria and Tanta last week.

He said in his sermon: “Everything we are and own and see is to be lived, and held and understood through the resurrection.

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“But be under no illusion, this is utterly counter to how the world runs itself, and so we live in the now of a world in which the resurrection has happened, and the not yet of a world where there is still evil.

“Christians in Egypt live surrounded by bombs and terror. We and those we love know the grim, grey moments of illness, suffering, arguments, poverty, ill health mental and physical, prison, guilt and failure.

“We experience a world of pain and despair, grief and death.

“But the words Jesus says on that first Easter day he says to you and me now; ‘Do not be afraid’.

“These things overshadow our lives because we fear they may have the last word. These things lie, they deceive, they pretend to have power that they do not have, when they say they are final.

“There is only one finality, Jesus the crucified one is alive. In the hard journeys we all face, in every moment of loss, the community of witnesses to the resurrection must come alongside and, with love and gentleness, bring restoration and hope.”

The Archbishop also said: “We are used to facts being contested. We are even used to facts being reduced to the level of opinion. So individualised are our news cycles that our opinions are in themselves the only facts that seem to count.

“However, what brings the faithful out to worship in Tanta and Alexandria is truth. It happened. The resurrection is an event which - although never experienced before or since - changes everything because it happened.”